Head colds are a nuisance at the best of times but there is something so wrong about having a cold in Summer! I tried to take things easy this weekend but there is an awful lot to do in the garden at this time of year… mowing, strimming, weeding, sowing. My mind was soon taken off my sore throat and aching bones and because of the head cold I didn’t notice my hayfever! Bonus!
Everything in the kitchen garden is starting to look like it should. I spent ages in winter looking through seed catalogues and trawling the internet for great plants. When I first looked at the various little seeds in my hand it was hard to believe they would transform so quickly into such great plants!
The first sunflower is out and there are lots of different colours in the raised beds. Admittedly, it does look like a five year old has been in the crayon box but in my first year excitement I just threw plants in – and it does look pretty! My main aim was a productive fruit, vegetable and herb garden with a nectar bar for the wildlife. Next year I would like a more cohesive flower design if possible… maybe there’s an artistic seven year old out there?
The first sweet peas are out so I picked the few that had already opened and put them into a small jar along with some Rosemary. I love to put herbs and fresh flowers together and I’m just disappointed that I can’t smell them at the moment!
The thing that I’ve enjoyed more than anything this weekend is the fresh produce for lunch – baby carrots, roast beetroot, chard, and broad beans (freshly podded and lovely). The sun made an appearance late afternoon and I could almost hear the tomatoes and dahlias singing!
Chickens are the most delightful creatures! We originally had eight when we moved house five years ago but only have four at the moment. We joke that we’re running a retirement home for chickens so I’m looking forward to getting some more youngsters this Spring. We recently lost a couple of our ladies to a hungry fox – I’m completely to blame as I decided it would be a good idea to let them scratch about in the garden…. RIP Jemima and Bernie. So here are the remaining ladies, safely fenced in, but trying to escape every time they get fed!
Matilda is most definitely the boss and keeps the others in order and she doesn’t suffer foolish behaviour from either chickens or humans! Next is Goosey, ever since she was a fluffy chick she has always sounded more like a goose than a chicken, she has always been sensible one. Tallulah is my husband’s favourite – she likes cuddles but isn’t too bright (what does this say about his taste in women?). Finally, there is Doris who is always the most inquisitive and eager to explore… which is a bit of a problem when a lawn tractor is heading towards her!
I had an empty jam jar and five minutes to spare so I picked a couple of Hellebore stems and brought them indoors. I dipped their stems in boiling water for about 20 seconds (it sounds far crueller than it is), placed the flowers in a jar and added a sprig of Rosemary and Cotinus. I have a drawer full of ribbons, buttons and other oddments that come in handy for jazzing up jam jars! I must say that whilst I love to see the Spring flowers in the garden I also like to bring a few in the house to enjoy them even more!
I love adding herbs to flowers so I like to have plenty around – all the seedlings are doing well but the Thyme seems particularly fiesty!
And as for the Broad Beans… they have been safely transplanted and seem to be doing well. I’ve had some lovely suggestions for recipes so, who knows, I may actually like them after all!